Twists of Fate by Joana Starnes

I am happy to welcome back a much-beloved authoress Joana Starnes with her new book, “Twists of fate.” her book made me both chuckle, scream and I nearly strangled Joana a few times. 


As the book opens, Collins is making his proposals to Elizabeth, which turns sour and sends Elizabeth towards her aunt’s house in Meryton. Soon scandal rolls through Meryton, and Collins is evicted from Longbourn by a furious Mr Bennet, much to my delight and cheer, I applauded loudly. So Elizabeth and Darcy are forced to wed, and of course, the drama follows them to Pemberley. As happiness is finally reached, I was ready to read the words, “The end.” but the end was still to come.

I have to admit to wanting to strangle Joana at a particular point, or three hehe and also screamed at my kindle, quite a few times. The book had all the hallmarks of a Joana Starnes book; drama, screaming, torture for both Darcy and Elizabeth – but also the heartwarming talent of feeling like you are with friends inside the book. The way Joana writes her characters has always been so very talented since she brings them to life. Joana also has the talent of making at least I want to scream or laugh with the characters throughout the plot. 

But by the end, I was more than pleased with the HEA, and I can only say congratulations to Joana on a brilliant book. 


Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family.

A medical graduate, over the years she has developed an unrelated but enduring fascination with
Georgian Britain in general and the works of
Jane Austen in particular, as well as with the remarkable
and flamboyant set of people
who have given the Regency period its brilliance and glory.

For years, Joana has sought glimpses of Regency Britain in country houses, letters, diaries and old books – and has found tantalising snippets from a world Jane Austen and her characters would have recognised, with titbits of delicious gossip, long-held traditions, hints of fashion, echoes of events that would change history, as well as glances into the lost world of the English country house, in all its self-sufficient splendour.
 All this, Joana would like to share with her readers, in the hope that they would enjoy the journey
​back in time in search of Pemberley just as much as she does.


Agony & Hope by L.L.Diamond

Hello all! I am proud to welcome Leslie Diamond to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl, I was so very privileged to be gifted a copy of her lastest book, “Agony and Hope” it took me a little to get started on the book, but once I was in it, it went quickly through the plot, and my oh my did I get the shock of my life with one line, “Elizabeth Bennet is dead.” I think my jaw and heart dropped with that one line! Without further ado, I will go straight to my review before any of you die of annoyance.


“I have endured the deepest agony, only to be shown a hope so bright I cannot but yearn for it.”

Fitzwilliam Darcy is mourning the love he lost—a love that was never allowed to bloom. What will become of him when Georgiana is wed, and he is left by himself? He cannot give away a heart not his own. Must he remain in this mournful existence, anticipating the nights to come, where in his dreams, he can finally be with Elizabeth, a spectre of his once living, breathing beloved. When a surprise visitor brings unexpected news, his hope is breathed back to life. Will he finally obtain his deepest desires? Will Fitzwilliam Darcy be able to leave behind the agony of the past and hope for the future he once thought impossible?

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Elizabeth Bennet’s family is irrevocably altered. Her father is dead, Lydia is missing, and her mother and remaining sisters are to be relegated to a life of poverty. Fitzwilliam Darcy’s behaviour at Pemberley indicates he still loves her, but too much has happened. She can never hope for him to once again make the offer of his hand. Elizabeth’s sole option is to abandon the life she once led and start anew. But what happens when her path once again crosses with the love she thought lost to her? Will Elizabeth choose to protect him with the one option available to her or will she put aside the agony of the past and choose hope?


Another new book lay ready on my desk, and my oh my was I shocked beyond comprehension with just one line, “Elizabeth Bennet is dead.” I think my jaw dropped right there and then! But thinking of how Leslie writes in her earlier works, something more had to lay beneath this shocking statement! Poor Darcy and his broken heart!
But not long after, a thin and ragged Jane Bennet turns up at Darcy House. Jane reveals that Elizabeth is sick and therefore alive!! I nearly screamed out loud in delight!

I was nearly sick while reading at where the two eldest Bennet girls had lived in St. Giles, which at this time in the Regency is one of the worst neighbourhoods in London! And the image of Elizabeth being ill, thin and ragged nearly broke my and Darcy’s heart at that point! Many heartbreaking scenes went past, where I was nearly in tears.

Leslie’s way of writing Darcy, Georgiana, Jane and Elizabeth were heartfelt, so well written, they became real, and it felt like I was in the rooms, gardens and estates along with them. The heartfelt scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth were SO sweet and romantic, and the more mature Georgiana was a pleasure to get to know. I was though a little surprised at the Persuasion reference, “I never considered you had loved longer and when all hope had been lost. If I had allowed myself to truly acknowledge your pain, I never would have survived. I would have had no will to go on.” see what I mean? That is Persuasion through and through!

One other point I HAVE to comment on is the proposal, gosh it was beautiful, and there is no hint of the toe-curling proposal from Darcy, but just sweetness and happiness, since both Elizabeth and Darcy is so ready to belong to each other at this point! I had to use my handkerchief during that scene. It was perfect!

But soon after, the trio travels to Derbyshire, to a small estate called Drayton, and the emotional stress at this point was nearly unbearable! I was so hopeful for a HEA, and yet there was a bit left of the book. But if I am to wager, I will guess that Leslie will give us a most satisfying HEA for the ending – and I was right. I am already looking forward to her next book.


Remember to leave your emails so I can reach you if you win so Leslie can send you the audiobook code for either US/UK


L. L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends, and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she has spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans until she vowed to follow her husband to the ends of the earth as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, England, and now Missouri have all been called home along the way.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolor is her medium of choice with one of her watercolors featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Mistress of Netherfield by Julia Winter

Welcome back to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl, today on my table is the new P&P variation, “Mistress of Netherfield” it’s written by Julia Winther and I’m quite happy with this new book and variation, many good plot devices, more fleshed out characters and turns and twists to keep us readers on our toes until the last page. 

Come with me through the review, author bio, blurb and giveaway of this new and wonderful book. 

About The Book

It is a truth universally acknowledged that on escaping an unhappy marriage, a young widow will be delighted to remove to the dower house and lease the marital abode to a single man in possession of a good fortune, provided he looks elsewhere to fulfil his want of a wife.

Five years after being forced into an unwanted marriage at the age of sixteen, and freed six months later by the death of her abusive husband, Elizabeth Grayson (née Bennet) has finally found a measure of peace. The inheritor of her husband’s estate, Netherfield Park, Elizabeth is now a wealthy young widow, independent and self-reliant. With an eye always on improving her four sisters’ woefully small dowries and providing for her mother, who will be homeless when her father dies, Elizabeth is pleased to lease out Netherfield to the Bingley family, making her home in the dower house in Meryton and vowing that she will never remarry.

Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire is rich and well connected, but reserved in company with anybody outside the very few he counts as friends. Towards those friends, he is loyal and steadfast, the staunchest of supporters. So when a young man comes to him with a tale of the clandestine marriage and mysterious death of Darcy’s old schoolfriend, James Grayson, and begs Darcy’s help to investigate the widow’s role, Darcy agrees. Visiting Charles Bingley, the new tenant of Netherfield, Darcy is very soon torn between his loyalty to his dead friend, and his burgeoning attraction to the widow.

Throw two unprincipled rogues and an elopement into the confines of Meryton, and how will Darcy’s dilemma over Elizabeth ever be resolved? And is she willing to put aside her misgivings, and trust again?


At Longbourn, just before Elizabeth meets Wickham at the Phillipses’ house:

Mr Collins came immediately to join Elizabeth and Mary, plumping himself down in the nearest chair and dragging it closer while still seated in it, to the great detriment of the polished floorboards.

“My dear cousins, I cannot tell you with what anticipation I view this evening’s engagement. What could be more congenial, than an evening spent with family and friends? It is precisely the sort of harmless entertainment, you know, that Lady Catherine must approve.”

“My aunt will be pleased to know it, sir.” Elizabeth noted Mr Collins’s examining her and returned his gaze with a direct one of her own.

He frowned. “Cousin Elizabeth, your respected mother told me that you are, in fact, a widow?”

“I am, sir.”

His frown deepened. “You do not look like one.”

“Indeed? And is there some particular characteristic of widowhood in which I am deficient?”

He opened and closed his mouth more than once with all the elegance of one of her father’s carp in the fishpond. “You do not dress as one, cousin. That is what I mean.”

“I am sure my mother told you that my husband is more than four years dead. Did you expect me to be in bombazine and crepe? I put off my mourning over two years ago.”

He made an odd “haaa-ing” sound and ducked his head, grimacing. “I meant only that you dress as would any young girl—as cousin Mary here does. There is little distinction…”

Mary glanced up from her book to observe that “Lizzy has better taste in dress than I. And prettier dresses.”

“I am barely one and twenty, Mr Collins, so do not dress in the more matronly styles and colours chosen by, say, my mother. Is my gown inappropriate?”

He gestured dumbly to his head, and it was not until she quirked an eyebrow at him that he squeaked out an outraged, “You wear no cap!”

“I do not.” Elizabeth caught Mary’s fleeting glance and they exchanged faint smiles. Mary’s views on Elizabeth’s heresy when it came to societal expectations of married women’s dress were well understood between them.

“But my dear cousin… the impropriety… good heavens, you cannot understand… so unconventional behaviour… my fear is that a gentleman may be misled about your status—”

“That does not concern me, Mr Collins.”

“But that is the effect of… of…” He prescribed a circle about his own head with one hand to explain his discomposure. He huffed out another of those odd “haaa-ing” sounds, that she realised was intended as an indulgent chuckle. “You are greatly charming, and so obviously an innocent when it comes to a man’s thoughts and intentions… The expectations of society are there for your protection, my dear, dear cousin. You must see that this is so!”

Elizabeth, who was so far from innocence as to a man’s intentions and deeds that Mr Collins’s inane words cut to the bone, allowed her tone to freeze like the breath of a winter wind. “How I dress is for me to decide. One’s intentions, deeds and morality are not determined by whether or not one wears a lace cap. And in truth, this is a rather improper discussion.”

“I am a clergyman, dear Elizabeth—”

“Sir, we are only just met. Please do not use my given name with such freedom.”

He deflated a trifle, even his pomposity pricked by her coldness. “It is my duty to speak out about those derelictions when I see them, and I flatter myself I do it with delicacy! I merely point out, cousin, that it is more seemly to follow society’s dictates on this matter. It is for the protection of innocence and modesty, and to show her respectability and decorum, that a married woman covers her hair.”

This assertion had Mary nodding agreement.

“I am sure, my dear cousin, that Lady Catherine would agree with me—”

Elizabeth smiled. “And I am sure that the great lady you have described so minutely would never be so rag-mannered as to offer her opinion on a matter that is so clearly none of her concern.”

Mr Collins gaped at her, one of her father’s carp caught in the fisherman’s landing net gulping in the unfamiliar air.

Elizabeth softened her tone. The noddy was not worth her ire and she would pay him the compliment that he was in earnest; an innocent who saw matters in simplistic terms, rather than a man attempting some ridiculous exercise of an authority he did not possess. “Come, we shall not quarrel. I assure you I followed every convention when I was first widowed with regard to the wearing of mourning and the curtailment of my participation in society. We may agree my lack of a widow’s cap now, some four years later, is… unconventional, as you termed it. I intend no deception regarding my status when it comes to gentlemen, and it is purely a personal preference that is a matter for me to decide, is it not?”

He drew his hand over his brow, with another of those odd, rather high-pitched “Haa!”s that this time clearly denoted a discomforted attempt to laugh. “You are perfectly charming, my dear cousin…”

“Well, we are agreed then, and shall be friends henceforth. Oh here is Mama, and the girls at last. John Coachman is waiting at the door, I believe, Mama. We should leave, or we will be late.” Elizabeth cast her gaze over her two sisters. Lydia’s decolletage was a little too daring for an evening at their aunt’s—or anywhere, really—and she and Kitty had evidently spent hours curling their hair and pinching their cheeks hard to make them rosy. “Armed for battle, I see, Lyddie.”

Lydia did not even pretend not to understand her. She pulled Elizabeth up and towards the door. “Officers, Lizzy! The officers will be there! Come, you laggard, I do not wish to be late.” Her blue eyes met Elizabeth’s, wide and bright with life and laughter. “After all, I have a campaign to win!”


After a horrible marriage of scandal, young Elizabeth Grayson are determined not to marry again, and live quietly at her dowager house, Nether House in Meryton. Enter the Bingley’s and Darcy, in the company of one young man undercover, to discover how his brother died. Was the death an accident? Murder? Or something else? Read and find out! 

I was quite surprised at Elizabeth’s personality in this story, but taking into account how young she was when she was forced to marry, I certainly understood and pitied her to an extent. Though I was also very happy to see Charlotte as a more dominant character in this story for a time. 

As I read and starting learning the different characters stories and personalities, I couldn’t get over Darcy and his innate sense of pride, I wanted to hit the back of his head SO many times, hehe sorry not funny but omg the man is an utter idiot, though later an adorable idiot 😉🥰 And the young man undercover, just plain horrible, annoying and very much in need of a good kick up his arrogant ***! 

But how Julia hit Elizabeth’s sense of humour! Omg just brilliant, several times when Miss Bingley and Lizzie is fencing with words, you almost feel bad for Miss Bingley because she has absolutely no idea of who she is up against! Laughed so much at those scenes! They were spot on! Quite a surprise was the Hurst couple and their role in this lovely read! They were a lot more fleshed out than any other author have done in quite a while! So likeable! 

Wickham is as always a horrible person and you want to kick him up his *** and throw him out the window and then some! But this time around he not only pisses off Darcy but also a wealthier and more knowledgeable Elizabeth- and I can almost promise he will get what is coming to him! Thank god for rubbish aka Wickham! So Julia hit just the right note with him as well! 

Now is the question if Elizabeth and Darcy will end up together or not… ?? Oh, I will not reveal that, but I’m hopeful that you will discover that for yourself when you read the book. 


Between 21 June and 3 July, enter this Rafflecoptor for the chance of a first prize of a copy of Mr Darcy’s Hunsford letter (complete with seal, and tied in red ribbon) and a copy of the eBook, or one of two second prizes of an ecopy of Mistress of Netherfield.

Enter the giveaway here;


Once Julia was a communications specialist with several UK government departments. These days she’s thankfully free of all that, and writing full time. She lives in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo, who’s supported by Mavis the Assistant Editor, a Yorkie-Bichon cross with a bark several times bigger than she is but with no opinion whatsoever on the placement of semi-colons.


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There you were by Michelle Ray

Hello all, wow it suddenly become summer here in Denmark! Well I will jump straight to my desk and the latest book I have read, namely “There you were” by Michelle Ray, a P&P variation.


I was not looking for love, but there you were. I cannot stop it, I cannot indulge it, so I must put distance between us and hope that time will heal this fever I have.”

Abandoned by her mother and ignored by her father, it is hardly any wonder young Elizabeth Bennet’s curiosity soon brings about trouble and marriage to a man she does not love. Colonel Fitzwilliam’s family—save for his cousin Mr Darcy—despises her, and life is not what she dreamed of. As she matures and grows from an impetuous girl into a woman, Elizabeth’s most reliable source of friendship and comfort becomes Mr Darcy. When tragedy strikes leaving her a widow, she is free to find out [discover?] who has been in her heart all along. 

Darcy has always been intrigued by the girl his beloved cousin married, and finds himself drawn into helping her after her husband’s death. Over time, admiration turns to love. Admitting his feelings to her – or even himself – could lead to ruin, but denying his passion could shatter him.


There You Were


Thanks for having me here at Interests of a Jane Austen Girl!

  1. How did you come up with the plot for There You Were?

There You Were started as a non-Pride and Prejudice story. I began writing it almost 20 years ago, and funny enough, its origin was the Brad Pitt movie Legends of the Fall! I was fascinated by the mother (hardly seen) who left the family to move back to the east coast, and I wondered what impact that would have on a girl growing up in a society that expects the presence of a mother and certain behaviors from young women. When the awesome Quills & Quartos publishing team suggested that I adapt my story to be a P&P variation, we had to drop characters and alter relationships, but a surprising amount remained the same. These include the main character’s feelings of isolation, her desperation at being without resources, a young man who becomes a savior in many ways and an unexpected friend, and the conflicts that come with that relationship.

  • Mrs Bennet seems so distant towards Elizabeth, but not Jane. Why is that?

What strikes me in P&P is Mrs Bennet’s obsession with Jane’s beauty, and how she sees good looks as Jane’s ticket to a good marriage. In my story, I kept that point of view. I also exaggerated Elizabeth’s enthusiasm for the out-of-doors and her freer spirit. I added Mrs Bennet leaving when Elizabeth was still a baby—this would have diminished the mother-daughter connection, for blood does not guarantee closeness.

  • In JAFF most readers expect Uncle Gardiner to be involved in the lives of Elizabeth and Jane, but I get the feeling you’ve turned that trope on its head. Can you expound on that?

I’m new to JAFF (and loving it!), so I do not necessarily know what rules I am breaking. Originally that character was a brother, but that would not do for land inheritance issues and plot points. Having Uncle Gardiner be distant and disinterested when they were young also served my vision of an isolated protagonist a bit better. Elizabeth and Jane are not raised with tutors and travel, or even much knowledge of the rules of society. When Jane is invited to London, the opportunity enriches her life, leaving Elizabeth without the skills and knowledge her dear sister gains. In P&P, I have always loved how the Gardiners are kind and loving, and how they ultimately enrich Elizabeth’s life. Though the way they do so is different in my version, I hoped that Uncle Gardiner’s wife would play the maternal and encouraging role, a bit of a counterpoint to Mrs Bennet, that she does in the original.

  • Why didn’t the girls receive a “proper education?”

In P&P, it is made clear that there was no governess (much to Lady Catherine’s dismay) and that the Bennets employed no masters. When Lady Catherine says, Without a governess, you must have been neglected,” Elizabeth replies, “Compared with some families, I believe we were; but such of us as wished to learn never wanted the means. We were always encouraged to read, and had all the masters that were necessary.” This gave me permission to follow my idea of girls who had been wholly neglected by their family in terms of their formal education. In my version, her father does not wish to spend the money or effort on his daughters, handing them off to Miss Taylor, a former school teacher and assuming that was sufficient. He despises assemblies and callers, thereby depriving his daughters of examples and experiences. I wanted Elizabeth to feel lost and out of sync with those of her class, and wondered how Darcy would react to this difference.

  • What is the root of the animosity of the Fitzwilliam family towards the Bennets?

I imagined the Fitzwilliams as snobbish, looking down on their “poor” neighbors at Longbourn, hardly able to hold onto their lands. I did not envision any particular event that caused a rift. Had the Bennets not had personal problems that were widely known, perhaps the Fitzwilliams would have had less disdain for the family.

  • We Janites always want the best for Elizabeth. If you don’t mind me saying, your Darcy is going to have to work hard to win her heart. What was your motivation behind his personality and behavior?

I adore Darcy and Elizabeth, and in P&P enjoyed the journey and the changes they made in themselves and how they viewed the other to come to a joyful conclusion. I see Darcy as a man who is deeply protective of those he loves. In There You Were, when he meets Elizabeth at 15, she is wild and loud, and comes from a family he sees as problematic for a variety of reasons. He would not want his favorite cousin, James (eventually promoted in rank so he becomes Colonel Fitzwilliam), entangled with the Bennets. As Elizabeth matures and changes, and he comes to know her for who she truly is, his opinion alters. The cold and critical Darcy that Elizabeth meets is far from the joyful, passionate partner she imagines desiring in her youth, but circumstances help him change and alters how she views him as well. When first we meet him in There You Were, he is in his early 20s. She notes how responsibilities weigh on him—he has a keen sense of duty and being orphaned thrust him into the role of running grand estates and caring for his young sister. Additionally, not everyone does well in social situations, and P&P makes it clear that assemblies and gatherings of strangers make him quite uncomfortable. All of that said, however, he does have to make some serious amends for the unkind things he says to her when first they meet. 

  • Can you give us a hint as to how Elizabeth and Darcy will find their way to one another?

Time together can change opinions, and tragedy often brings people together.

Thank you, Michelle for answering my questions about your new book.


The story started out as if it’s written in the future about the past events. Though the start of the plot had me shocked! No Mrs Bennet, a Mr Bennet who has given up any pretence of having a care for his family and a Mr Gardiner who is less than proactive in his dealings with the Bennet family, quite a turn around for the normal troupe. I was feeling so bereft for Jane and Elizabeth and how they are left on their own to raise each other to be the ladies we readers love and admire had me shaking my head in both frustration and sorrow. 

To be brutally honest I had a devil of time finding any characters to like, but slowly it happened but it took a while but James Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth soon had me both smiling and cursing a few times. In the beginning I was close to giving up on this book, and cursing the author for ruining my favourite Austen book, but I kept at it and was rewarded with a different kind of written variation than even I have ever read before. A new character had me quite easily smiling, namely a Miss Taylor, a teacher/tutor/friend to Elizabeth, absolutely loved her. 

But as the plot and drama unfolds I knew that Darcy would have quite a time winning the heart of Elizabeth, – and I was right. A lot of drama, a LOT of feelings – be prepared to be taken along on a rollercoaster of emotions, most negative in the beginning but by the ending those remarkable feelings of falling in love, silently, nearly unnoticed but finally admitted. The ending had me quite satisfied. I hope others will enjoy this book, and maybe like some of the characters more than I did. 


Michelle Ray.

Michelle Ray is a middle school literature teacher who also directs plays, writes stories, and sees as many Broadway shows as she can. She grew up in Los Angeles and went to the awesome Westlake School for Girls where theater had the cachet of football and the girls were in charge of everything. She lives with her husband and daughters near Washington DC, and dreams of traveling anywhere and everywhere.

There you have it, dear readers. I will be back in just two weeks with yet another review for “Mistress of Netherfield”, a book I am looking forward to reading. So check back, and remember to leave a comment.

For the Deepest Love by Mary Anne Mushatt

Hello all and welcome back to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl! 

This time around I have read a P&P variation which was quite surprising, it was brilliant but quite different to other variations I have had in my hands before. I am looking forward to sharing my impressions with you all! 


“After thinking long and hard, I have come to the conclusion that—although it may not be the kind of love my sister and I once had in mind—marrying Mr Darcy would be marrying for a love of the deepest kind.”

Recovering from their parents’ deaths, Elizabeth and Jane Bennet have held their family together, leaning on the support of their uncle, Edward Gardiner, to help them survive.  Thus, when Mr Gardiner is threatened with scandal and ruin, Elizabeth vows to help him.  Hearing of her distress, the scandalous Fitzwilliam Darcy enters her life—offering his aid in exchange for her hand.  Accepting his proposal upends her life in unimaginable ways as she learns of the treachery of the peer courting her, the betrayal and violence committed by her childhood friend, and the threat to her country as it faces another war. 

As Elizabeth and Darcy face the turmoil and trials swirling around them, they risk opening their hearts to unexpected passion.  In order to survive challenges from without and fears within, they must summon unknown strengths and forge new bonds to solidify a love of the deepest kind.


For the deepest love, had the five Bennet girls orphaned and leading Longbourn as a whole operation for raising and breeding the best horses in England. The story follows mostly Lizzie in London, during the season. In London, she is courted, by a man, not Darcy, but I admit he made my skin crawl horribly! 

During a ball scene, we are introduced to Darcy, finally! 

I think my jaw dropped when I discovered the plot device of Darcy revealing the secret almost elopement of Georgiana’s!!!! I was So shocked! I couldn’t believe that Darcy would put his sister through such a trial of fire! Lizzie is in London, soon our beloved couple meet! Drama ensues, surprising enough! 

So when the Gardiners is threatened with economic disaster, Elizabeth makes a decision that will change the lives of herself, her sisters and Longbourn for good. So with this decision, Darcy is allowed to step in to help the Gardiner family. Is there a better cause than to accept help than when it is for the deepest love? Namely for the family? I believe Elizabeth makes the best decision possible in her situation to avoid the ruin of her family.

But the drama doesn’t stop here, spies, drama, an old flame and lastly the war between England and France plays a part. I can tell you that it kept me at the edge of my seat and if I had had the time I would have read this in one sitting! I managed it in three. When the Bennet girls are back at Longbourn, ready to deliver a horse to Wellington, the most known General in the British Army. An attack is attempted on Wellington, but Elizabeth is hurt. Now goes the hunt.   

During the book, we realise that a group of wealthy, well-positioned, or titled people in England is in a league to run and change the way Britain is. But love is the focus of the book and I loved it, and the drama was brilliant and kept you at the edge of your seat nearly until the last page. 


A lifelong writer, Mary Anne Mushatt relocated to New Orleans last century, where she earned an MFA and created a documentary of oral histories in the African-American and Native American communities along Louisiana’s River Road.  When the levees failed, exiling her family from their home, she discovered the community of Jane Austen acolytes and began writing novels placing the beloved characters of Pride & Prejudice in innovative situations. Taken is her second published novel.  As a result of one of her earlier novels, she works with a multi-disciplinary team aiding victims of human trafficking become survivors.

Mary Anne lives in New Orleans with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.

Dare to refuse such a man

Hello all! When this goes online, I will be sitting my entrance exam to History at University, so wish me luck!


“He is the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse anything which he condescended to ask.”

– Mr Bennet, Pride and Prejudice Volume III, Chapter 17

It had never occurred to Fitzwilliam Darcy that, once he had chosen a bride, her father might dare to refuse his consent. When his dearest, loveliest Elizabeth is taken from him with only a curt note of explanation, he determines that, far from accepting her father’s rejection of his suit, he must instead find her again and make his case. After all, a woman worthy of being pleased is also worth fighting for.

Several months shy of her majority, it is not so simple a thing to defy Mr Bennet’s will, but Elizabeth, for the sake of her future happiness, must try. With various allies in her corner, as well as foes standing against her, Elizabeth’s courage must rise against all attempts at intimidation. Even from her own, much beloved father.


The Prologue had me caught within a page! The Meryton Assembly, and instead of an insult, Darcy and Elizabeth run into each other arms! I was shrieking with happiness and shock! But the best form of shock!
As I read about the visit to Pemberley, – Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle Gardiner visit Pemberley and meets Darcy and omg, I nearly died right there and then!

As I was reading, about the summer in Derbyshire, I fell in love with the book. Reading about Darcy and Elizabeth falling in love with each other, was the best feeling ever. And when Mr Bennet appeared in Derbyshire, I nearly threw my kindle across the room, in a fit of anger and frustration!

And the one thing which made my jaw hit the floor was when Mr Bennet tells Darcy, “Elizabeth is already engaged these fifteen years!” I think these words nearly shocked me into a shriek of “WHAT!?!” But Darcy is summarily refused by Mr Bennet!! I will let you guess who Elizabeth’s betrothed is, and I dare say, you will not like it! And what you will like even less is what Mr Bennet allows his betrothed to do to Elizabeth! I was beyond furious when I read it.

But the continued sneaking around by Darcy and Elizabeth had me sighing with delight. There was a special scene, that seriously reminded me of “Somewhere in time”, the scene between Elise and Richard (Search on youtube “Somewhere in time – Richard and Elise reunited” that was the scene I saw in my head just with Darcy and Elizabeth! And I wept like a child! And I loved it!

But on a side note, for the first or maybe the second time, my respect for Mrs Bennet rose a LOT! Normally, I like Mr Bennet just fine, but this around, well, let’s say that I wanted to kick his arse more or less until 90% through the book, so Mary has written a book she can be very proud of! I was very much impressed and loved the romance between Darcy and Elizabeth, they have become my new favourite! Well done Mary!


Mary Smythe is a homemaker living in South Carolina with a rather useless BA in English collecting dust in a closet somewhere. Mrs Smythe discovered the works of Jane Austen as a teenager thanks to the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries featuring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and has since gone on to read everything written by Ms Austen at least once yearly, always wishing that there were more. She has been writing since 2001, but only discovered Jane Austen Fanfiction in the summer of 2018. Dare to Refuse Such a Man is the first full-length novel she has ever completed, though she can boast a few shorter works in her library, as well.

You can pre-order this wonderful book on amazon;


Commenters at blog stops will be eligible to win an ebook of DTRSAM. Winners will be chosen a week after the blog tour ends (May 7). Winners’ names will be posted on the Q&Q FB and Instagram pages.

Choice and Consequence by Christine Combe

Hello All, wow three times this week have I posted something here from my desk! That’s a record of sorts! So, I will welcome a new author, who I hope to work with further in the future; Christine Combe!

Greetings, fellow Austenians! First I’d like to thank Sophia for having me here today. I’m so excited to be visiting Interests of a Jane Austen Girl to talk about my upcoming release “Choice and Consequence“, the second book in my What Might Have Been series.

The timeline of this book starts at near the same point as the original. But instead of meeting at the Meryton assembly, Elizabeth and Darcy first meet accidentally at Oakham Mount one morning and have a brief but pleasant conversation. And although each was intrigued by the other, they don’t meet again until the assembly—where Elizabeth overhears Darcy make that unkind remark about her. He means it only as a joke to stop Bingley teasing him about his interest in the second Bennet daughter, and is able to apologize the next day after rescuing Elizabeth during a thunderstorm. After a heart-to-heart about all the reasons they shouldn’t become attached, they choose to be friends…but neither discounts the possibility of something more.

Of course, their feelings do grow by the time of the Netherfield Ball, where Darcy asks Elizabeth to consent to courtship. But the sudden appearance of Wickham—who Darcy believes to have attacked his sister (an event that happened in book one)—is only the first of a series of outside influences that keep driving them apart…

**In this scene, Elizabeth has been speaking to Charlotte about the latter’s own plans for the future, when Darcy comes upon them.**

“Good morning, Mr. Darcy,” she greeted him. “I did not expect you until after breakfast, at least.”

“Good morning, Miss Elizabeth. Miss Lucas,” said he as he dismounted his horse. “Such was my intention, as I said to you last evening, but I am afraid a matter of some urgency has arisen that shall take me to London this very day. I could not go without keeping my word of calling on you, though my visit must regrettably be brief.”

At those words, Charlotte touched her arm. “Lizzy, I will go into the house and visit with Jane,” she said, and turned away.

She and Darcy should not be left alone, but Elizabeth was grateful to have a private moment. Besides, chances were one or more of her sisters—or even Charlotte—would be watching them through a window.

When she had gone far enough away, Elizabeth said, “Has this urgent matter anything to do with that incident which took you from the ballroom for a time?”

Darcy nodded, his expression grave. “Yes, that is a part of it, though in truth the matter goes much deeper. I cannot say more at this time—not because I do not wish to, nor is it because I do not trust you. It is simply a very painful matter and I would not burden you with my sorrows. I have not the right.”

She reached for the hand not holding Diamond’s reins and held it between both of hers. “Sir, if nothing else we are friends,” Elizabeth began. “For that reason alone, I would be glad to share your burdens if it would give you any relief from them. That is what a true friend does. But we are more than friends, or were on the way to being more; if you have changed your mind—”

He lifted their joined hands to his lips and pressed a light kiss to the back of hers. “I have done no such thing.”

“Then I would have you lessen your pain by sharing it with me, if you trust me enough with your secrets,” she replied. “I will not be offended if you do not, though I must tell you I shall be very much concerned for you.”

This teased a smile from him. “And I shall be grateful for it. I do not know that I can tell you everything just now, for this seems hardly the time or place to go about it, but perhaps a moment may be taken upon my return.”

“Do you think to return soon?”

Darcy sighed. “I would very much like to be back in Hertfordshire this night, though it may not be possible. The plan is then to return first thing Monday, but given the nature of my business, Colonel Fitzwilliam and I may be gone from the country for some time.”

“Very well,” said Elizabeth, doing her best to conceal her disappointment.

“I shall send word by express if indeed we will be away longer than two days,” Darcy said then. “I hate that this is happening now, when I have just asked if I may court you—it seems as though I am merely using it as an excuse to go back on my word, and I promise you I am not.”

Elizabeth smiled. “If I believed that about you, or even suspected it, I should likely have turned away in an indignant huff by now,” she said. “However, as I believe you to be a man of honor, I will only say that I pray your business is soon concluded, that we may begin where we leave off.”

“I shall pray it also, for that reason and others,” Darcy replied. He then looked into her eyes with so intense an emotion in his own that she thought for a moment he might kiss her.

“How I long to kiss you now, as a symbol of my fidelity,” he said in a low voice, echoing her thoughts. “But I am afraid your two youngest sisters are watching us from what I believe is the dining room window.”

Elizabeth looked over her shoulder. Indeed, Kitty and Lydia were blatantly staring from the dining room, laughing and pointing as she took notice of them. She poked her tongue at them, which sent them into a laughing fit, before she turned back to Darcy and said, “Let them watch. I find that I very much want that symbol of your fidelity.”

His eyes widened a fraction and his breath quickened before he raised a hand to cup her cheek, then lowered his head and touched his lips to hers. His mouth was warm, his breath almost hot, and before the pleasure of her very first kiss had fully registered, Darcy broke contact and stepped back.

“I had better go, before reason is lost and I kiss you again,” he said, his voice husky.

Elizabeth nodded, then said shakily, “I wish you did not have to go.”

He turned and lifted himself into Diamond’s saddle. “As do I, Elizabeth. As do I,” he said, before turning the horse and urging him into a canter.

Once again, I’d like to thank Sophia for letting me take over the blog today. I hope everyone is intrigued by this snippet and looking forward to more. Choice and Consequence is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will publish May 5th!

Thank you, Christine for introducing your new and upcoming book, the second in your “What might have been” series, we are all intrigued and can’t wait for this book to publish so we can read it.


Amazon – Christine Combe: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
Facebook – (3) Christine Combe | Facebook

Hello all, does that just sound good or what? I certainly think so, and can’t wait to get my hands on this series, I definitely intend to buy this series soon! On a side note, my post from yesterday (11th of April) with Gianna Thomas, please enter valid emails so we can contact you if you win a copy of the book. I believe this is where I will leave you all for now, dear readers! I hope to return soon with another review, introduction to a new book or maybe even a podcast at some point, since I have been thinking about that. So for now, see you soon. From the desk of Interest of a Jane Austen Girl.

Interview with Gianna Thomas

Hello all, and welcome back yet again to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl.


Excerpt from Darcy Vs Wickham

Bidding Georgiana good morning with her studies and practice of the pianoforte, Darcy and Elizabeth left through the terrace doors, enjoyed Lady Anne Darcy’s rose garden, and then headed onto one of the numerous trails through the woods that covered the hill behind Pemberley’s main house. Filled with a variety of plants and trees, as well as wildlife, the couple thoroughly enjoyed their rambles during warm weather. Occasionally they spotted deer, grey squirrels, hedgehogs, the occasional badger, and numerous rabbits along with a few of the larger hares. Adding to their delight were numerous species of birds that included hawks and owls, and they also had the jaw-dropping distinction of seeing a large eagle owl carry away an adult fox as prey.

Among the deer population there was a nine-foot stag, whose height was attained from hoof to the tip of his highest antler point, who always intrigued the Darcys when he was sighted, which was rarely. Amazingly, he was not afraid of them and would remain in the area if they seated themselves on a large rock and were silent for a time. The wildlife around Pemberley pleased Elizabeth as they reminded her of the land of Longbourn, her family’s home, which she still missed a little bit. And the hills around Pemberley made up for her lack of an Oakham Mount that she occasionally yearned for.

The glorious array of flowers they saw on their walks never disappointed her either. White Lilies of the Valley and yellow Cowslips were just a few of the delights to the eye. She could never get her fill of their beauty. But the large carpet of Bluebells that disappeared into the woods took her breath away each time she saw it.

After five months of marriage and being ensconced as the mistress of Pemberley, Elizabeth Darcy felt this was now home. Of course, wherever Will was residing was agreeable with her so long as she was there as well.

Georgiana, her sister-in-law, was a younger woman of sixteen years who was always welcomed with her and her husband. When they traveled, she accompanied them. As her and her brother’s parents had died, Georgie was beloved and encouraged to be with them until she married, which all hoped was not for a few years. She would come out around the age of eighteen, but Darcy would not allow just any suitor for his lovely sister. He and his cousin, Richard Fitzwilliam, were guardians of his sibling, and both were very protective of her and leery of the time when she would be courted. No one would be allowed who was of questionable character. In fact, the man would have to be perfect according to Darcy and Richard. Elizabeth had laughed when she heard that declaration. But she also joined the two cousins in protecting Georgiana just as assiduously as they did.

Today, Georgiana declined to walk with them as she and Mrs. Annesley, her companion and governess, were off to Lambton and Kympton to seek a couple of novels and a bonnet to go with her new dress. They left immediately after breaking their fast which suited Will and Elizabeth. This would allow them time alone and the ability to walk to the pond where the Grotto was found. It also afforded them some privacy to indulge in a little love making before they started their day with necessary tasks.


The man on a ridge across the valley from the manor house raised his spyglass in interest as he saw the woman with Darcy lift her skirts above her ankles and sprint away from her husband as Darcy observed her and then ran after her. The man grinned as he delighted in the free spirit she showed and wondered how it would be to enjoy her charms. Then he frowned as he heard the slight ripple of laughter coming from the couple as Darcy caught up with her, picked her up in his arms and twirled her around, and then disappeared with her toward the Grotto deeper in the woods.

After he could no longer see them, he stepped out from behind the tree and glared at the last place the couple had been spotted. He hated the idea that Darcy would ever find a woman who could make him happy. In fact, he despised Darcy and continued to do so because of all that the man had that HE had always wanted and felt was his…even for the taking if necessary. His father was content working for George Darcy, but he would never be content working for someone else. He wanted it all—including the woman—no matter what he had to do to get it.

Today I am visited by an author who I have followed for quite some years, and read most of her works, especially her “VS” series within the Pride and Prejudice world. Gianna have been so kind as to answer some of my more curious questions about her work, her books and her opinions on the author who began it all, namely Miss Jane Austen.

  1. How did you get your idea for your VS series?
    I got an idea for Darcy vs Bingley that I had to write that would include a comeuppance for Caroline Bingley. (I really dislike her.) That one I posted on and the readers really liked it. That book, along with Darcy chooses, has sold the best of any of my other books. Somewhere down the line I wondered about doing one concering Lady Catherine and proceeded to write Darcy vs Lady Catherine as a mystery. Last year I couldn’t resist doing Darcy vs Elizabeth where he is more rude than usual, and Elizabeth really gives him a run for his money. But I couldn’t stop there, so this year I published Darcy vs Wickham. Does the Versus Series end with that one? Probably not as I’m getting ideas for Darcy vs Mrs. Bennet. Would love to do a Darcy vs Mr. Bennet but another author has already done that one, so I won’t intrude on her title.
  2. Did you ever imagine writing a series when you started the first VS book?
    Not at first, but I had already done the Four Lords’ Saga Series, so making a Versus series was kind of the next step.
  3. How come that it seems like Darcy is dead in the newest book???
    Who says he isn’t dead, Sophia? 🙂 My latest has a bunch of twists and turns that make it a bit different from all my other books. It is a novella that can be read in about three hours or less, and I hope it keeps the readers on the edge of their seat the entire time.
  4. How come Elizabeth isn’t aware of Wickham’s true character in the newest book? Shouldn’t she be aware before she married Darcy and the whole debacle with Lydia?
    This is not a sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Elizabeth never met Wickham, Ramsgate never occurred, and Wickham never came to Meryton with the militia. Although I didn’t specify that information, it is basically shown in the conversations, particularly with Georgiana and Mrs. Reynolds. Because you asked this, I’ve added the following to the beginning of the blurb on Amazon: Suppose Elizabeth never met George Wickham before she married Darcy, and Ramsgate never occurred. That sets the stage a bit better than what I originally had. Thank you for inquiring about that.
  5. What do you believe Miss Austen originally meant to convey with her books?
    Basically, I think she wanted to tell stories. However, she was such a sharp cookie about people and their personalities, as well as society in general, I think she included the type of people she met every day. I have read only Pride and Prejudice before falling in love with the P&P variations, but I suspect that she might have referred to the nobility or royalty but not in detail as they would not be persons she would ordinarily associate with. Her father being a clergyman, they would not even be gentry as the Bennets were.
  6. Do you have a favourite Austen (P&P) variation book?
    Oh, that is a hard question to answer. I have well over +1,000 variations in my Kindle account and have enjoyed many of them immensely. It would be easier for me to tell you of my favorite P&P variation authors, and they are; J. Dawn King and her daughter Jennifer Joy. I love their books, and both are exceptionally good P&P writers. Jennifer also excels in the area of mysteries as well.
  7. What first drew you to Austen and her world of Dashwoods, Elliotts, Bennet’s, Morlands and Woodhouses?
    Actually, I read Pride and Prejudice in my teens, and it was okay. I didn’t fall head over heels in love with it originally. But… in 2012, I ran across one of Abigail Reynolds’ P&P variations – I think it was “Force of Instinct” – and I was hooked. After reading about 200 of the variations, I had plots and premises running through my head. Since I had toyed with becoming an author, I began thinking about it more seriously and did Attending a Ball as a prequel to a novel that became Darcy chooses. The rest is history as I think I’m here to stay and am planning a new mystery series, “The Lord Paisley Mystery Series” by Millicent Jaffey. Yes, I will be doing another nome de plume as the genre will be Regency or Victorian mystery.
  8. What do you believe have changed the most in the world today vs in Austen’s time?
    Medicine and women’s rights. Medicine has improved susbstanically from leeches and bleeding, two treatments that may have killed more people than saved them, especially the bleeding. Once the doctors learned to vigorously wash their hands before examining a pregnant woman, they quit killing most of them with childbed fever.
    Women today in many countries have, at least, a little protection legally whereas in the early 1800s, they had virtually no rights. Their husbands held all the power and could do just about anything to their wives, short of killing them, and some husbands even did that anyway in some cases.
  9. What about the new ‘Lords’ series, what inspired you to writes these bad boy lords who reform?
    Because I love reading Regency Romance, I wanted to write about friends, who were also Lords, who would be sowing their wild oats but change their ways when they found decent women that they loved and were willing to settle down with and raise families. I also wanted to tackle some serious issues as well. Although the lords were involved for several years with indulging their baser instincts, they were not truly happy. They discovered they could find happiness with the women they fell in love with. But… they needed to make some changes before courting and marrying these wonderful ladies.
    One of the issues I dealt with was Corina who was nearly raped when she was only eight years old. Her brothers proceeded to teach her how to protect herself is she was ever assaulted again. Unfortunately, the experience had honed her instinct for survival to the point that she was dangerous to be around under certain circumstances, and she was capable of disarming and seriously injuring or killing any man who attacked her. So how was thelord who fell in love with her to feel safe if he ever married her? That’s just one of the stories.
  10. As a budding writer myself I have a creative/silly question; when you write can you hear your characters in your head?
    It’s not a silly question, Sophia. I’m sure every author tackles each book, article, or whatever in different ways. My initial foray into writing was taking an hour’s worth of material and turning it into a five minute Bible talk. So, what I learned in the beginning was to put everything in a nutshell. In writing novels and novellas, I find that I’m doing the exact opposite; taking what’s in a nutshell and expanding it. So, it has been quite a learning experience for me because I have had no real training as an author. I started out as a pantser, literally flying by the seat of my pants, to where I am now. I have learned to do an outline of the book I’m currently writing and am finding that I can write faster and better for it. So that has been very beneficial and something I hadn’t expected from that one change. As to hearing my characters in my head, for me it is probably more that I take the role of each character and write dialogue accordingly. In other words, if I am Darcy in a certain situation or scenario, how would I react? What would I say? What would I do? And I think my favourite scene is the one in Darcy vs Bingley, where Caroline Bingley attempts to compromise Darcy, and Darcy proceeds to tell her how miserable her life will be if he has to marry her. For a time, at least, she decides she is better off not being leg-shackled to him.

Thank you, Gianna for answering my curious questions. It was wonderful to learn more of your writing, books and opinions.

Just before I end this post, Gianna, has been kind enough to offer a Giveaway. Gianna can only send the ebook to American Amazon holders, everyone else will receive a secured PDF file as the book. I will draw 3 winners on Friday, the 16th.

!!!!! GIVEAWAY!!!!

Gianna is offering three copies of ‘Darcy vs Wickham’ internationally. Kindle copy to winner in Amazon American market and PDF to winners in other markets.

So, that was the interview about Gianna Thomas and her books, Austen and her opinions. I hope you have all enjoyed it, it was certainly enjoyable to do. You can get Gianna Thomas books on Amazon and the other digital platforms. Please leave a comment, and I will see you all soon, back here at the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl.

The Recovery of Fitzwilliam Darcy

Hello All and welcome back to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl. Today I am reviewing “The Recovery of Fitzwilliam Darcy”


I have no notion who I am meant to be.

In 1789, a terrible crime is committed, plunging one family into grief as another rejoices at the gift of an unexpected son. Two decades later, a chance meeting leads to the discovery of the lost heir of Pemberley and the man who knew himself as Mr William Lucas is restored to his birthright as Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley.

Discovering the truth about his past means leaving behind everyone and everything he has ever known and loved—including his childhood best friend and soon-to-be betrothed, Elizabeth Bennet. Tormented by questions about himself, and his place, Darcy struggles to understand and adapt to his changed identity and his new life. He must contend with a father buried in the shadows of the past and family relationships he does not understand.

The truth has come out. Some have gained by it, some have lost by it, and I am in the middle. I cannot possibly make everyone happy. No matter what I do, someone will suffer. No matter what I do, I shall suffer.

Somehow, he must find a way to do right by his new and old families, especially if he is to avoid losing Elizabeth forever. 


As I opened the book, I was ready to be delighted and surprised! Especially because of the title, which got me wondering, but as the book opens with Elizabeth Bennet walking around with William Lucas, my mind instantly screamed “IS THAT DARCY!?!” And yes it was Darcy! And the start of the book, WOW! What an opening sequence!

So, when a Darcy appeared as Mr. Bennet’s best friend, I was hopeful and yet a little worried and was I right to be worried!

Suddenly William was whisked to Derbyshire without a word of goodbye to any of the people he holds dear in Hertfordshire! And what a gigantic change for William, – he has to join two sides of him, the William Lucas he has grown up as, and the expected Fitzwilliam Darcy, heir and son.

Something which made me beyond sad was the fact that we do not get to meet Lady Anne Darcy!

I have to admit to disliking Mr. George Darcy at the beginning, but as the book developed, I understood why George Darcy acts as he does in the beginning, and even some of the Darcy relations threatens Darcy to keep his old life away from his new and proper life in accords to him being a Darcy! Gosh, I was ready to punch half the Darcy’s silly!

But finally out Fitzwilliam Darcy finds his feet after several months, where we see him in London society, which is just shy of being a disaster, since Darcy’s two male Darcy cousins are bad, and horrible – we are also presented to the Fitzwilliam cousins, the Viscount and Col. Fitzwilliam who is quite disliked by the Darcy’s apparently!

I was SO hoping that Darcy’s original first proposal wouldn’t appear, since they know each other so intimately already, but, of course, and I had to shake my head in hopelessness over how stupidly Darcy acts towards the woman he loves, even if I get why, but omg if I had been Elizabeth… So I can only praise Lucy for her way of writing Elizabeth in this particular scene!

FINALLY, oh Finally some happiness appears, and George and Fitzwilliam Darcy joins together and peace is restored between Darcy’s and Fitzwilliams, – and I am sure everyone can guess what happens to the bad people!

The family in Hertfordshire is visited and several scenes where Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth are walking together, where I both screamed at my book, “GET DOWN ON ONE KNEE DARCY!!” and at other times I just wrote it down as a note in my ebook, and where I just shook my head in frustration! But in the end I was laughing at the plot!

But FINALLY happiness is restored to our beloved couple! I sighed in contentment at that point! Something which hit me quite a lot, “there was something different in the way he looked at you and the tone of his voice. As soon as we returned to the inn, I asked about you. I knew immediately that for him to be happy, he needed you. You understand when I say that my most fervent wish is for my son’s happiness.” – This is said by George Darcy and I was quite sympathetic to him by this point, especially as our beloved couple are united!

So all in all, a well written and well created book, and world around the characters of P&P, so I can only congratulate Lucy Marin on another well done book!


In The Recovery of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Darcy has lived a quiet life as ‘William Lucas,’ most of it in Hertfordshire. Like the Bennet sisters (as far as we know from canon), this is the extent of his social experience—the assemblies and parties and so forth that take place within the Lucases’ circle. Mrs Bennet tells us in Pride & Prejudice that the Bennets dine with four-and-twenty families, and I choose to believe that the same was true for the Lucases even though they were not as well off as the Bennets. William’s life changes greatly when he is recognised as Fitzwilliam Darcy. All of a sudden, he is not the son of former innkeepers and the heir to a small estate; he is of noble birth and very wealthy. His father, George, wants him to take his proper place in society, to be recognised as his only son, with all the privilege that entails. As such, they go to London so that Fitzwilliam can be introduced to their social circle. In essence, Fitzwilliam is having his ‘come out,’

What does it mean for a young gentleman to have his coming out? Did such a thing even exist? Trying to find clear answers to these questions was a challenge. The focus was very much on young women entering society, signalling that they were of marriageable age. For some young ladies, this included being presented at court, where they made their curtesy to the queen. This was required to attend court functions, which, according to some sources, everyone who was anyone did at least once a year.

Young gentlemen were also presented at court. Daniel Pool, in What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, talks about this typically happening after they left Oxford or Cambridge or “had outgrown the awkwardness of adolescence.” Men were presented at levees, at which they would make their bow to the king or his representative. These formal receptions, which typically took place in the afternoon, were held at St James’s Palace, just as were the queen’s drawing rooms at which young ladies were presented. Men had to wear buckle shoes, breeches, and a sword—a far less onerous and elaborate costume than that expected of women.

The rules for presentation were strict, with young ladies, and presumably young gentlemen, needing a sponsor to gain access to court. Mothers, mothers-in-law, or other female relatives would present women, and I assume fathers or male relatives would present the men. Persons of rank could be presented, of course, and others could be as well, as long as they had an appropriate sponsor, meaning someone who themselves had been presented at court. I did not include a scene of George presenting Fitzwilliam, but there are references to him dining with princes and dukes and meeting the Prince Regent, which imply that he has formally been made known to the royal family.

Presentations took place during the Season, which coincided with the sitting of Parliament. The Season was a way for the upper class to entertain themselves while they carried out their political duties, as well as a way for people to meet potential spouses. Robert Morrison, in The Regency Years, calls the Season “the social world of events that helped them stave off boredom.”

We know that after presentation, young ladies attended a great number of social events such as balls, parties, dinners, breakfasts, and so forth. This is all to help meet people, especially men who might want to marry them. We can assume that young men were likewise very busy, although some of their activities would be different. I tried to show in the book that Darcy was, in fact, very occupied going to any number of different events, sometimes with his father and often with his cousin John. It provides a way for Darcy to meet the people of his social sphere, a task he would have begun much sooner had he not been kidnapped. While a child, he would have met other boys of his age as his parents socialized with their parents and while at school and university. After university, he would have, in essence, had his ‘come out’. Since he did not have these opportunities previously, the time he spends in London in the novel makes up for it and represents his first Season.

In addition to balls, musical entertainments, and the like, men might belong to a variety of clubs, including ones revolving around card playing, and they would partake in sporting activities, as a spectator or participant. Boxing was very popular, and fashionable young gentlemen might attend one of the London schools operated by famous pugilists. A scene that didn’t make it into The Recovery of Fitzwilliam Darcy involved Darcy and John together at a boxing match. These matches were illegal, but magistrates did not stop them. Blood sports were still fashionable at this time. Gentlemen commonly hunted, but they might also attend cockfights and dogfights while in town (as well as in the country).

In the end, there does not appear to be a lot of information regarding what it was like for young men to enter society; the attention was on young women and efforts to find husbands for them. No doubt, there were young men who were intent on finding a wife, especially if they needed a rich lady to make up for their own poverty. We know that Darcy is not looking for the right woman to marry; he has already found her, even if they now seem worlds apart.


Lucy Marin developed a love for reading at a young age and whiled away many hours imagining how stories might continue or what would happen if there was a change in the circumstances faced by the protagonists. After reading her first Austen novel, a life-long ardent admiration was born. Lucy was introduced to the world of Austen variations after stumbling across one at a used bookstore while on holiday in London in 2002. This led to the discovery of the online world of Jane Austen fan fiction and, soon after, she picked up her pen and began to transfer the stories in her head to paper.

Lucy lives in Toronto, Canada surrounded by hundreds of books and a loving family. She teaches environmental studies, loves animals and trees and exploring the world around her. Her first novel, Being Mrs Darcy, was published in March 2020 and was followed by a novella, Mr Darcy: A Man with a Plan, in July 2020.


I’m not sure if you need it or not, but my social media accounts are:

·         Facebook: Lucy Marin

·         Twitter: @LucySMarin1

·         Goodreads: Lucy S Marin

·         Instagram: lucymarin613

So, that was it for this time around! I hope you all will rush to get this book at amazon and the other options to buy ebooks. Since the book is VERY good! So, for now, cheerio!